The Skinny: This is a 1995 A&M remaster of Squeeze’s fifth release. This is the last record in what could reasonably be considered their classic period. Another great collection of Chris Difford & Glen Tilbrook tunes that mixes New Wave and white-boy British soul.
Sounds like: Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Crowded House, Rockpile, The Style Council, XTC, Joe Jackson, Nick Lowe
Deeper Thoughts: Like many folks my age, I got up on the Squeeze box with “Tempted,” which was released the year before (1981). Sweets is mature pop music from a group and a songwriting duo that continued to refine their sound and style. This record is less frenetic than their first releases, but retains all the lyrical charm you expect from these guys. This is a more soulful set, that features a soul/blues ballad, “When the Hangover Strikes,” released as a single. “Black Coffee in Bed” is the chart hit here, but all the album cuts deliver tons of Strat groove and keyboard color with a Stax-inspired soul vibe.
The Sonics: I had the early Squeeze stuff on first-generation A&M CDs, which sounded like absolute shit. This 1995 remaster from A&M is a significant improvement. The bass & kick are tighter and thumpier, and the cymbals and other high frequency elements are crisp and much less brittle. But it’s still not as rich and full-bodied as I’d like. A good streaming version will be just as satisfying. Still, this is a great record to have in your collection.
Chris Difford – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on “His House Her Home”
Glenn Tilbrook – lead guitar, keyboards, lead & backing vocals
John Bentley – bass, backing vocals
Don Snow – keyboards, backing vocals
Gilson Lavis – drums
special guest including Elvis Costello and Paul Young
“Out of Touch”
“I Can’t Hold On”
“Points of View”
“Stranger Than the Stranger on the Shore”
“Onto the Dance Floor”
“When the Hangover Strikes”
“Black Coffee in Bed”
“Tongue Like a Knife”
“His House Her Home”
“The Very First Dance”
“The Elephant Ride”